Two 2BBL kettles compared, need advice
I am weighing the pros and cons of two different solutions to getting a 2bbl kettle up and running for my planned 30 seat brewpub.
The first is a brand new unit available from NABs, designed by Allied Tank and made in China. Specs look ok for the price ($4960). Only downside really is the cost (which is great really) and the requirement for 3-phase power. Assuming getting 3-phase to my desired location is prohibitive/impossible, I'd need to buy a 15KW phase converter for an additional $1800.
Total cost: $8000 assuming a hefty freight charge for the oversized item.
The second system is the overgrown homebrew system, consisting of:
2x 55 gallon blichmann boil kettles (two simultaneous 1bbl brews)
2x 1-phase immersion heating coils of adequate size,
1x welded frame to hold above said contents, plus custom welding to fit bulk head fittings for the heaters to the pots.
Cost: About $3000
That $5000 savings can buy me two 4bbl open fermenters.
My worry with the cheap route is mainly over the hacked on immersion coils aggravating a code inspector down the line, and myself in the event of a boil over. I would probably have some sort of flashing welded on over the electronic enclosure sticking out of the pot, in addition to being hooked up to a GFI circuit.
I could go with gas burners, but I'm trying to stick with electric equipment to make it easier to go 100% solar powered at some point after profitability.
I have also looked into standard restaurant stock pot ranges, both electric and gas, but the cost brings the whole contraption nearer to the NABS kettle and thus is a wash.
Other drawbacks of the cheap system: not insulated, harder to whirlpool. more net floorspace taken up.
I'd be interested to hear other thoughts on which they'd pick. If anyone can speak to my concerns about code inspectors and custom equipment, that'd also be helpful.
Last edited by SnowGypsy; 06-26-2009 at 05:03 PM.
Wow!! Morgan, you are at least brewing your own!! Personally, I would go with the second option until I could afford a REAL brewhouse. My hope is that you are a consummate brewer and are able to very closely match your beer, brew to brew.
My issue would be the variables that creep into the process and ultimately produce noticeable differences in your beers with each batch brewed. This won't make your repeat customers very happy, but you could constantly rename your beers with each batch brewed.
The additional money for fermenters is a definite plus!!
You could hard wire your immersion heaters into a control panel for very little money and incorporate a timer in the process. That might make the inspector happy. Be sure to use commercial wiring practices, conduit, rigid mounts, NEMA boxes, etc. and you should be OK.
Just curious where you're getting your immersion heaters as I'm thinking of starting a similar small scale brewery in Guatemala 2-3 BBl and somewhat considering trying to weld most of the stuff (kettles and fermenters) myself or I will be looking into some much cheaper brewing equipment in Peru or Argentina since its about 25% the cost of stuff from north america for that size, although not all have temp control, etc...
Would an 80 gallon kettle work for your operation?. 1.5 TC ports, fully insulated.
Lance @ Rebel Malting Co.
Reno, Nevada USA
I was looking at the immersion heaters that McMaster.com sells. I've also found a great selection at Omega.com; they have a greater variety of options, as well as "over the side" rather than thru-wall elements which I am considering.
Originally Posted by rdy80
Lance, I'm sending you a PM.